How to test your website before changing DNS

Once you have built your website, you should test its design, navigation features, and other functionality before launch. However, if you have yet to purchase a domain, or it’s currently being used to host your old site, you may be wondering how you can test the new content on your server.

You could choose to manually edit your computer’s hosts file, which locally redirects a URL to a different server IP address, overriding a standard DNS (Domain Name System) lookup.

However, using the online hosts.cx service is a more convenient way to preview your new site, as it does not require any local file editing.

To use the service, you’ll need your server’s IP address and website name. You can find your server’s IP address on your HostPapa Dashboard. Log in to the dashboard and click the My cPanel link in the navigation bar.

Scroll down to the General Information section and click the Server Information link.

Depending on your service, your IP address will be listed next to Shared IP Address or Dedicated IP Address.

Server IP Address

Head to the hosts.cx site and enter your server IP address and website name.

Hosts.cx

Click Get My Testing URL to proceed.

Testing URL

A URL will be displayed on screen, alongside a QR code which can be used by mobile devices to navigate to the URL. Click the link and you’ll be able to preview your new site, as live.

If you notice any problems or if you need any help, please open a new support ticket from your HostPapa Dashboard. More details on how to open a support ticket can be found here.

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